Dog Catcher is a story not unlike Erin Brockovich. Told from the perspective of Animal Control Officer Legget, Dog Catcher tells the story of how greed can often drive one to do awful things to others.
While Sysak is not the first to talk about the harm done to animals by corporations, either by animal testing, or otherwise, he stands out because the direction of his story is not from some animal rights supporter, and has the advantage of not seeming as skewed in one way or another. It is simply very humane, told by what is not a very decent human being, which actually brings the point across better.
After all, if someone not very decent can show such concern for dogs, shouldn’t you people who are more decent, show more?
The book starts from describing the corrupt practices that Legget indulges in, falsifying body counts so he could make a little money on the side. Which apparently is a really big thing because you’re cheating the state of its profits from burning dogs, cats, and what not.
Anyway, Legget gets into some trouble with the law because of a dog he was told to catch, which is kind of weird when you think about it, and really demonstrates how screwed up the law can get, which kind of brings me to a side point: never trust lawyers, or date one, unless you really wanna get screwed over thoroughly. (Just kidding. I’ve dated a couple of lawyers, they are pretty fun, and since you’ve got client confidentiality, you can break all the laws you want in the bedroom; you’re safe.)
However, all of the above events are meant to provide cover for what is truly an act of cruelty by owners who seek to make a quick profit from fast dogs: an animal farm, not quite the one Orwell had envisioned, where dogs are bred and practically murdered if found to not be of good enough genes to run on the greyhound track.
Sysak, as Legget, describes with precision and thoroughness the horrors of a dog farm, such as the one in the book, and demonstrates how capitalism protects and takes care of the wealthy, while leaving the weak with not much to fend for itself.
He describes with clarity the mass dog grave, and the mass murder of the creatures, the use of growth medication and hormones to make the dogs grow bigger, faster and stronger, as well as how they are removed from service. The sense of malice in the villain is palpable, as the truth is unfolded all around him.
Dog Catcher may not be quite the most original or literary work on the market, but it does provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves: the animals. Sysak’s clear voicing out of these atrocities is testament to his sympathy for animals, and speak to many people who care for them as well.
Grab it at a bookstore near you.